Sunday, 3 September 2017

Big Table in the Kitchen

 If we ever move to a smaller house there will be one criteria that will be a must-have: a large room for the kitchen, with enough room for our dining table in the middle. The walls will be fitted with unfitted pieces of furniture, a range, a large sink set in a rough cabinet and skirted with some colourful fabric.  Ideally there would be room for a sitting area at one end, and of course there has to be a large light fixture over the table in either a lantern shape or the classic chandelier.
I am not new to renovating our kitchens. Our current kitchen was completely gutted and rebuilt a couple of years ago but one thing we couldn't change was the floorplan.  Our house was built in 1915 with a separate dining room to the kitchen, and the kitchen functions purely for cooking and organizing the food to be brought out to the dining room: it's a formal arrangement.
Our previous house also had a new kitchen, one that we built in an addition to the main floor.  It was an open-plan concept, with the kitchen at one end, a large island, then the dining table.  It was a challenge for the stage of life we were in: with all of our children at home that kitchen was absolutely always in a mess, there were constant little meals and snacks being made as well as the three squares! This is why I was keen to have a separate kitchen in our current house: I wanted to have dinner with the family without seeing the detritus of the cooking area.
This has worked well for us but in our next stage would it be possible to live happily with the big unfitted kitchen of my dreams?
The Small Stone House has a large middle room that currently operates as the office area for my husband's assistant, complete with large banks of filing cabinets and various office machines.  To be honest it's difficult to look past these things and imagine a cozy, pretty kitchen with a big table!  But that's what I see every single time I walk into that room.  My next kitchen design post will focus on the arrangement of a big unfitted kitchen with a table in the middle, and all of the challenges to design that space.  After all, one can't just throw in a bunch of furniture higgledy-piggledy, there needs to be plumbing for the sink, a gas line for the range, some kind of refrigeration and storage for food and dishes.
For now let's look at some inspirational pictures of big kitchens with unfitted cabinetry and large tables.  All of these images can be sourced through my Small Stone House pinterest page.

I do like a butcher block counter.

Lovely big table and how about those curtains.

I love a skirted anything, and to have the sink cabinet skirted is one my favourite details.

Giant butcher block cabinet!

A few hanging copper pots always look cozy.

More skirted cabinets.

I like the colourful range.

The colour of this kitchen is so pretty.

Ben Pentreath's kitchen: the classic inspiration!
My friend Kim wrote about it in her recent kitchen post.
 The colour palette of this big unfitted kitchen is already worked out in my mind!
I have a dining table that seats 10 people with a linen aqua print fabric on the chair seats.  It's my ideal table and will be the centre of the design. I'd like to pair the aqua with a perfect shade of coral, such a pretty colour combination, so cheering and festive.
This is an inspiration for the colour scheme:
Would you like an unfitted kitchen with a big table in the middle?


  1. Dani this is so fun and exciting to think about building a kitchen like one if these. I love all of your images and the color scheme. I am curious- would you build this to eventually move there? Is it on your property? Sounds like a really neat little house. I'm wondering if you've ever seen the Jocasta Inns kitchen book? I think mine is from the 90s or something, but you would love it! I'm going to have to dig it out and see if I can locate you a copy. So fun you created a little site for this project. I can't wait to see what else you come up with Dani. You have a unique vision and good taste. Xoxo Kim

  2. Hi Kim thanks for reading the blog post! The house I own is located about three blocks away, it's still right downtown but the street is quieter than ours. The house was built in 1853 of local stone and the walls are about three feet thick, to me it feels like a very English cottage.
    I'm planning to renovate it as if we were to move there, even though we may never do so. If we don't I'll rent it as a furnished house. My hubs and I don't agree just now on downsizing, he always wants to have a big house. Now that we only have one kid at home I already feel that our house is too big! Yet we want to have room for visits and I always want our house to be a refuge for our kids if they need it. So I'll have to make sure everyone has a spot to sleep at the least.
    I have not even heard of that book! Thank you Kim and I also cannot wait to see what you do with your kitchen, you must be having so much fun planning it. xx

  3. I'm getting so many fabulous ideas, Dani! DH and I are in the process of building a cabin in the mountains. Our small stone house, although it will be logs rather than stone. I am stashing away images from websites or magazines, hoping that the perfect interior will coalesce by the time the cabin is done. The only thing I know for sure is that I will be using a beautiful old butcher block table I found at a local junk shop as an island. The kitchens in this post are chock full of inspiration. I am especially drawn to that amazing green range.

    1. SD there you go you have your kitchen inspiration right there, your old butcher block table sounds fabulous. How exciting for you and DH to have your cabin in the mountains where it must be cooler and so private? Sounds so wonderful. I would love to see what you do. xx

  4. I hear about this difference of opinion in downsizing all the time! Men and big houses. Haha I have to admit I am subject to that too. Though the HHI frontrunner is 520 square feet! Love all these kitchens, though too romantic for me! But l keep my big "surgical theater kitchen" as my ex calls it! Haha.
    But I'd love to hang out at one of those tables! So warm!

    1. SAJ oh so it's not just P Pie it's most men is it! Interesting. What is the deal with that? I bet you could do a lot with 520 square feet though. Surgical Theater Kitchen, haha. But you do need practically a restaurant kitchen with those huge family meals you turn out. I love the idea of just sitting around the kitchen at a cozy table. So nice. xx

  5. Such beautiful kitchens, this is my favourite look too, I can't abide modern, fitted kitchens.

    1. omgosh hello tabs! i've missed you SO much. how are you doing? i was in santa monica over the weekend and thought of you just a few miles away in one of your favorite places...malibu. xoxo j

    2. I saw that! It was fab nattering to you yesterday!

  6. I am so loving this series. We are looking at century homes for our next home, but might be tempted to buy one earlier if it's something I could use as my office now, and rent out the rest of it until we are ready to leave Stepford when the kids are done school. I LOVE the idea of a big kitchen with a table at the centre. The colours you are choosing are heavenly. What a fun project! xo

  7. oh yes count me in for the unfitted kitchen and big table in the middle. i can't even find the right table for my kitchen and i've been here 10 years now so there is that quandry. loving the new blog D!

  8. Well hello there! Why is it only now that I realize your old blog is no longer, and a new blog has sprung up to take its place? I shall update my own blog list to include Small Stone House not to miss another blog post fro your delightful world of home and house.